I would like to go there!

Unique and inspiring travel destinations

Cycle the Solar System in York

As our family gets older and our children move on from the ‘little children’ stage we now have a whole range of new activities and days out that we can now spend our time doing.

We can all ride bikes and have been on bike rides near to our house but these are all relatively short or can include some steep hills. We decided to venture to York after a good friend recommended a trip cycling through space!

Just outside York on the old East Coast main railway line is a 10km cycle trail alongside a scale model of the solar system. Every 100m on the cycle trail is equivalent to 57 million miles in space and the speed that you cycle along it is about 10 times the speed of light!

We invested in a bike rack for the car although finding one for 4 bikes was a bit tricky.  We parked our car at the site of the old Escrick station a little way from the village of Escrick. The station is not there anymore just a car park  on the left of the road which is not sign posted and we drove past it at first.

Escrick is a little way into the trail and we cycled towards York. The planets along the way are not only to scale in the distance between them but also in the size of the planet itself.

At first the planets are quite spaced out but the closer to York you get the more frequent they become. It was excellent motivation to keep cycling and my girls kept peddling on in an attempt to be the first one to find the next planet!

There are a couple of pubs on the route which serve food but we stopped at the old Naburn station where they serve giant slices of really good cake along with sandwiches and coffee. I also took snacks with us in case our girls or us ran low on energy. The secret to keeping my younger daughter happy is keeping her energy topped up!

After we reached the sun which is a huge golden sphere suspended above the trail we turned round and cycled back towards the car. Between Mars and Jupiter there is Brunswick Organic Nursery which has a little shop selling ice creams along with organic produce and plants.

If you are looking for your first family cycle out or a trail which is on the flat the Solar System Cycle is fun, educational and a lovely day in the countryside.

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I would like to go there … is now on twitter

 

So far on my blog I have been sharing ideas for days out and breaks that I have been on and enjoyed. However I am continually searching for unique ideas and come across some really lovely looking places that I would like to visit … these are place I would really like to go there!
I will share these ideas on Twitter so if you would like to receive these ideas follow me on Twitter @idliketogothere or #iwouldliketogothere
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Cornwall – a great family holiday

Set in a hidden valley on a private 30acre estate is a secluded hamlet of holiday cottages, Scandinavian and riverside lodges. Close to Bodmin but a million miles from the hustle and bustle of daily life is Coombe Mill. This family run collection of holiday accommodation on a working farm is so special that we have returned each time we have been to Cornwall.

The drive to Coombe Mill sees you driving deep into the Cornish countryside along picturesque country lanes and eventually down steep valley sides into lush woodland where you come across the farm of Coombe Mill. The unique setting is so far removed from the tourist trail that can be found in parts of Cornwall.The selection of accommodation is all of a lovely standard. We have stayed in the Scandinavian Lodges and one of the cottages. There is so much space for the children to run around and be free. With playgrounds, sand pits, indoor play areas and grassy areas they could really just enjoy themselves, making friends with other children who were also staying.

The highlight of each morning was Farmer Nick’s tractor trailer ride to feed the animals. The children loved feeding all the animals (we saved our left overs to feed to the pigs) and our daily favourite was the goats. So much so that ever since our children still ask us if we can have goats as pets! Not easy in our small suburban garden!

Wellies are an essential item whilst at Coombe Mill! However if you forget to pack yours there is a selection to borrow from in reception along with overalls to keep the mud off. In reception you will find a freezer full of home cooked meals and puddings- the puddings are a particular treat.

Our trips out from Coombe Mill were very varied. Here are some of our best days:

We all hired bikes from Wadebridge and cycled part of the camel trail to  Padstow where we  indulged in take away fish and chips from Rick Stein and ice creams. Beware of the seagulls who attempt to steal ice creams from unsuspecting tourists – swooping down on the cones from above!

One morning we went for breakfast at Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen‘. The views over Watergate Bay are superb and the breakfast that goes with it even better. If like me you love eating out in great restaurants then holidays with children in tow can make great restaurants tricky if not impossible. At ‘Fifteen‘ the staff welcomed the children and we had a great meal. The coffee was especially good, on my list of ‘Top Ten Lattes Ever’!

Our all time favourite Cornish beach is Polzeath. This is easy to get to from the farm. The beach is huge and has very shallow water if you are brave enough to get in the cold water! There are great little cafes and shops close to the beach and you never have to walk far as parking is on the beach. Polzeath is unspoilt and a great trip for a beach day out. We first came to Polzeath before we were married and I expect we’ll still be heading there when our children get married.

If you are looking for a great place to stay to escape from busy everyday life then Coombe Mill is worth a great deal of consideration – we’ve loved it!

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A trip to Valley Gardens, Harrogate

Today seemed to be the day for all of Yorkshire to head outdoors because the sun was shining. The sunshine was deceptive as it was still only 10 degrees but a large proportion of visitors were trying to believe it felt more like 20 degs! I think everyone is becoming impatient that we are still waiting for our summer to start!

We decided to have a valuable morning at home in our pj’s. I was baking for the rowing club fun day for tomorrow and the girls were involved in an imaginary game for the whole morning.

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This afternoon we headed to the Valley Gardens in Harrogate. The park is right near the centre of Harrogate and has so much to offer. If you live in HaImagerrogate you will know all about it and if you are not familiar with Harrogate then it’s a great place to go on your next visit.

There is so much to do in the park from a brand new playground which has such a varied range of play equipment including a zip wire. There is crazy golf, pitch and putt and a traditional boating pond where for £1.50 you can captain a radio controlled boat for 5mins. My girls loved the boats and they could easily manage the controls by themselves. Ripley Ice cream has a cafe here and we had coffees and ice creams to take away. We found a sunny sheltered spot and if the wind dropped we could almost believe it was May Bank Holiday weekend!

On a hot summer day the Valley Gardens is a great spot to spend a few hours as in the playground there is a huge paddling pool. Heaven for anyone who likes to paddle or like my girls who choose to fully immerse themselves! Bring your picnic rug and towels and an afternoon here on a hot day can feel like the Med (well almost!)

So if you fancy a break from shopping in Harrogate’s great shops have a wander across to The Valley Gardens. You’ll be surprised and your children will love it!

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